ZAMBIA's inflation rate for January 2013 has declined by 0.3 percentage points to seven per cent, while the trade surplus has increased to KR135.9 million.
Central Statistical Office (CSO) director John Kalumbi said the annual rate of inflation, as measured by the all items Consumer Price Index
(CPI) dropped to seven per cent in January 2013 as compared to the 7.3 per cent recorded in December 2012.
The decrease in the annual inflation rate was mainly attributed to the reductions in some food items.
Mr Kalumbi said on average, the prices increased by seven per cent between January 2012 and January 2013.
Between January 2012 and January 2013, the annual rate of inflation increased for alcoholic beverages, tobacco, clothing, footwear, transport, education, restaurant and hotel costs.
Addressing journalists in Lusaka yesterday, Mr Kalumbi said of the total seven per cent annual inflation rate posted in January 2013, food products accounted for four percentage points, while non-food products accounted for three percentage points.
"The annual food inflation rate was recorded at 7.6 per cent in January 2013, compared to 8.4 per cent recorded in December 2012.This implies that there was a 0.8 percentage points decrease in annual food inflation.
"The annual non-food inflation rate increased from 6.1 per cent in December 2012 to 6.3 per cent in January 2013,"he said.
Lusaka Province made the largest provincial contribution of 1.9 percentage point to the overall annual inflation rate of 7.0 per cent recorded in January 2013, followed by the Copperbelt which contributed 1.7 percentage points, while North-Western had the lowest contribution of 0.1 percentage points.
Mr Kalumbi said a comparison of retail prices between December 2012 and January 2013 indicated that the national average price of a 25 kilogramme bag of breakfast mealie meal went up by 1.6 per cent from KR56.67 to KR57.56.
The country has continued recording trade surpluses since January 2012 with the highest valued at KR473.2 million registered in August and the lowest trade surplus was posted in February valued at KR47.4 million.
Mr Kalumbi said Zambia's major export products in December 2012 were from the intermediate goods category mainly comprising copper cathodes and sections of refined copper which accounted for 73.4 per cent.
Other exports were from the consumer goods, raw materials and capital goods categories which collectively accounted for 26.6 per cent of the total exports in December 2012.
Mr Kalumbi said between December and November 2012, the country had been a net exporter of intermediate goods mainly metals and their articles accounting for an average of 73.7 per cent of the total exports.